Mothers’ Day is quickly coming up and a lot of us out here are wondering what we should get for the most important women in our lives. There are tons of great gifts out there, but if you want to try something special, original, and eco-friendly there are other options than the traditional earrings/chocolate/card combo that we all know so well. There are all kinds of creative and eco-friendly gifts that are on today’s market, ranging from jewelry crafted from recycled glass to the organic versions of the food Mom likes best.
This is the perfect season for flowers and spas, as we approach summer and mothers everywhere are preparing themselves for the craziness of summer. If either of you are worried about your carbon footprint, there’s no need to fret any longer. Buy a bouquet of flowers grown without pesticides or chemicals and accompany that with an organic spa basket. This basket can be filled with organic lotions, bath products, and soy wax candles. This way Mom can get the relaxation she craves, you get the satisfaction of giving your mother something she’ll love and use, and you both can feel good about doing good for the Earth.
If flowers and baths aren’t your Mom’s thing, maybe clothes are. The well known (and eco-friendly, as well as charitable) shoe company, TOMS, is making an “I heart Mom” patterned shoe in celebration of mothers day. Not only does she get an Earth-friendly pair of adorable shoes, but this also lets the company donate a pair to an underprivileged person in need of shoes. However, the clothing trend doesn’t end with shoes-there are tons of options for clothing made out of recycled or organic fabric. If Mom loves bright colors, for example, you can get a beautiful and colorful bag that is made out of recycled sari fabrics from India. If she loves dresses, you can get a soft, pretty dress that’s made out of bamboo. It’s fabulous for both your mom’s look and for the Earth.
Some of you may be wondering, “What about jewels? My mom loves those.” No worries! If you’re in the market for jewelry, there are plenty of options open for you. Necklaces, bracelets, and charms that are made out of recycled metals and glass are easy to find, stunning to wear, and help have a positive impact on the environment. From sake bottle necklaces to recycled metal charms, your mom is sure to love her gift.
Let’s not forget the inevitable-and delicious-Mothers’ Day gift: sweets. From organic bonbons to organic cookies, eco-friendly stores have your mom’s favorite options. Crisp sugar cookies that are not only cooked organically but are packed in a reusable and recycled tin can-sounds like a beautiful, sweet, and green gift to me.
If none of these are sounding like a good option, there’s one thing that will always tug your mom’s heartstrings and leave very little negative waste in the Earth. Plan a day for you and your mom: take a hike in the mountains, go swimming at the beach, help her plant her new garden. Your mom will love that you’re spending time with her, and you’ll cherish the memories you two create together. There’s nothing to worry about throwing out, or chemicals that will harm the environment, just a time that you both will remember lovingly.
So, remember: no matter what your mom’s favorite food, or clothes, or flowers are, you can find it in an organic, recycled, or eco-friendly option. Happy Mothers’ Day!
Menlo Park-based QBotix Inc is in the process of revolutionizing solar panel energy efficiency through the implementation of robots used for their innovative tracking technologies.
SolBots, developed by the company, do not require individualized motors in each solar panel as currently deployed in most solar panel tracker fields. These SolBot units traverse a monorail-type track encompassing the solar panel fields and move from panel unit-to-unit, automatically rotating each panel to maximize energy efficiency with the movements of the sun throughout the day.
QBotix CEO Wasiq Bokhari explains, “While a number of solar PV (photovoltaic SolBot module trackers) trends are driving in the direction of decentralization such as distributed generation and power electronics, QBotix tracking insights have led to the centralization of utility scale tracker array motors into mobile solar robots.” (Gunther)
The “tracked area” of a solar panel field conventionally includes each solar panel having a motor installed in its base to control changes in angle adjustment in accordance with the movements of the sun. However, QBotix envisions a motorless tracker that removes a key expense driver and failure point in maintaining energy output of the tracked area.
QBotix technology enables several SolBots (one primary, one backup) so that each robot carries a pair of motors from one mechanically (motorless) tracking pole (solar panel) to the next. As the sun moves about ten degrees across the sky every forty minutes, it is possible for QBotix to adjust each tracker once over this interval to track the sun and maximize yields. (Gunther)
In its first commercial product offering, the QBotix Tracking System (QTS) uses a SolBot riding a steel monorail between trackers to control two hundred mechanical PV trackers each. QBotix claims, “QTS reduces the cost of dual-axis tracking by a factor of two, decreases the number of motors by a factor of one-hundred, and can withstand high wind loads. Energy yield is increased by 8-15% over single-axis trackers and 30-40% over fixed tilt PV systems, lowering the cost of energy by up to 20%.” (Gunther)
Each SolBot is embedded with processors, sensors, GPS, and independent communications to monitor PV plant performance, predict failures, and schedule maintenance. Each solar robot is independently battery-powered and costs QBotix about $.30 to charge per-day.
The QTS system has an advantage in that the system can be installed on uneven or sloping land and requires no extensive underground cabling currently employed to power tracking solar panel stations. The first installations of QTS systems will occur in San Francisco with potential customer Siemens Technology-To-Business Center. A second installation is planned for the City of Alameda at the Santa Rita Jail with construction planned for September 2012.
QBotix was founded two-years ago, in August 2010, and has raised over $7.5 million in funding in March 2012 from New Enterprise Associates, Firelake Capital, Siemens Venture Capital, and DFJ JAIC. (Gunther) The company currently has twenty-five full-time employees and is proud to boast that the company sources and builds the solar robots on site using commonly found, store-bought components and machinery.
This exciting technological leap has a huge upside to increase energy efficiency by eliminating multiple motors at individual tracking stations and lower the operating costs for solar panel energy conversion. As QBotix implements two trials in 2012, the company offers a new, positive and economically friendly way to manage solar power.
By Chase A.
Gunther, Edgar A. QBotix: Rise of the Solbots. 11 September 2012. 12 September 2012. <http://guntherportfolio.com/2012/09/qbotix-rise-of-the-solbots/>.
Upon hearing of the tragic passing of Sage Stallone after having five teeth pulled, I was reminded of the trauma that dental work can be. I am grateful we have talented, dedicated dentists who work really hard doing such precise, demanding, and challenging work; however, with the gifts of modern medicine comes the caveat of being overly pathologized. We tend to implicitly trust our health care providers, and take the necessity of certain procedures for granted. Prophylactic wisdom tooth removal is one such procedure.
People do not realize how serious dental surgery is, and the agony it can cause. Because dangerous pain killers like vicodin are often prescribed after the surgery, this is also a concern for young people, especially those prone to addiction. With addiction to pain pills sky rocketing, keeping kids away from them when possible is a good idea.
Dentists agree that impacted wisdom teeth should be removed if there are pathological changes in them, including pain, infection, decay, lesion, or cyst. But when there is absolutely nothing wrong with them, their removal becomes more of an antiquated habit, rather than a health-promoting procedure.
Most of us will experience having this procedure done without questioning the reasons for doing so. But perhaps we should not let our teeth be pulled out of our heads without first asking a few more questions.
This is a video of a very good-natured young man named Chaddy after his wisdom tooth surgery:
He is being a great sport, and everyone seems to think this is hilarious. I think it is horrific: an unnecessary, traumatic cranial injury – not at all funny. Young people trust their parents and doctors to do the right thing. Prophylactic removal of wisdom teeth is a racket. Our teeth are an important part of our skulls, and whenever possible we should keep them. No reliable research evidence exists to support claims of health benefits to patients from the prophylactic removal of pathology-free impacted wisdom teeth.
Dr. Eric Curtis, DDS, spokesman for the Academy of General Dentistry, says, “In the public’s mind, dentistry is really routine. You turn 18, and you think it is time for wisdom teeth to come out. It is almost ubiquitous, a rite of passage.” At least 5 million people undergo the surgery every year at a cost of 3 billion dollars. It is so common that patients have stopped thinking of it as a serious medical procedure.
This widespread surgery “subjects individuals and society to unnecessary costs, avoidable morbidity and the risks of permanent injury.” According to a 2007 report published in the American Journal of Public Health, more than 11,000 people each year sustain permanent nerve damage following wisdom tooth extraction. Tragically 17-year-old Jenny Olenick of Maryland and 14-year-old Ben Ellis of Georgia both died from unnecessary wisdom tooth extraction in 2011.
It is not the dentists’ (and oral surgeons’) fault that they are inclined to do these procedures. This is what their training and schooling prepares them for; and so in order to change national policy and dental education, a decision to institute policy change needs to be made by those in charge of dental colleges and organizations.
“Everybody is at risk for appendicitis, but do you take out everyone’s appendix?” asks Dr. Greg Huang, chairman of orthodontics at the University of Washington in Seattle. “I’m not against removing wisdom teeth, but you should do an assessment and have a good clinical reason.” Studies suggest that no more than 12 percent of impactions lead to infections or damage to adjacent teeth – about the same incidence as appendicitis. Yet, no medical associations recommend prophylactic appendectomy.
In 2006, the Cochrane Collaboration published a review of the practice and suggested that the number of surgeries could be drastically reduced using “prudent decision-making, with adherence to specified indicators for removal.” Prophylactic extraction is “likely to be ineffective or harmful.” The report advised against extracting asymptomatic, disease-free wisdom teeth because of the risks, which include permanent nerve damage, hemorrhage, dry socket, and infection, and extreme pain and swelling caused by the operation.
Sometimes it is said the surgery will prevent crowding, but this concern is overblown. “Removal of third molars to prevent late incisor crowding cannot be justified.” An on-going study in Denmark indicates that “watchful monitoring” is an appropriate strategy. This means going to a dentist periodically throughout one’s life for teeth cleaning and checking to make sure the wisdom teeth are still doing well, just as the rest of the teeth are checked. (On a side note, if a filling is ever needed for a tooth, make sure to get the white composite filling, rather than the silver filling which contains the poison mercury!)
The American Public Health Association recommends against prophylactic wisdom tooth removal because “the removal of these teeth, like the removal of any teeth, should be based on evidence of diagnosed pathology or demonstrable need, rather than anticipated future pathology.” The APHA’s position is drawn from scientific research that documents the risks of injury to the nerves of the jaw, which can cause permanent numbness of the tongue, lips, and cheeks, as well as damage to the temporomandibular (jaw) joint and adjacent teeth.
During the surgery, the patient receives anesthesia, and afterwards strong pain killers like Vicodin may be prescribed, which can set a young person up for addiction. Best not to endure this type of invasive injury in the first place – having your teeth carved out of your skull sounds like something that should only be done as an absolute last resort any way.
Every operation carries risk, especially those that are done near the brain, so why put ourselves through this torture voluntarily? Please educate those you know in the age range of 17-24 (when the operation is usually performed) that they should make sure they actually absolutely have to go through with this. If it is not medically necessary, then brushing your teeth and healthy eating might be better for your dental and overall wellbeing than major surgery.
1. Moisse, Katie. “Parents Sue After Teen Dies During Wisdom Tooth Surgery.” ABC News. 15 December 2011. Web. 23 August 2012.
2. Rabin, Roni Caryn. “Wisdom of Having That Tooth Removed” The New York Times. 05 September 2011. Web. 23 August 2012.
3. “No Wisdom In Routinely Pulling Wisdom Teeth, Study Says.” Science Daily. 29 April 2005. Web. 23 August 2012.
4. “Wisdom teeth – removal (TA1).” National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. 10 January 2011. Web. 23 August 2012.
Ever since humanity first gathered in family and tribal bands, our choice of shelter has played a major role in our survival. For a millennia we were confined to caves and forests, reliant on nature to provide us with protection from the elements. Creating more permanent dwellings allowed us to store away more food and also to survive longer periods without having to follow herds or the seasons to survive. From hobbit holes to mall sized mansions to floating apartment buildings, we have expanded our idea of housing to encompass any and every type of dwelling imaginable. Over the years we have a come a long way, from simple animal skin tents to penthouses perched high atop massive sky scrapers: The idea of a simple roof over our heads has grown to much more than the literal interpretation of the phrase.
More recently the idea of sustainable building has developers and consumers alike realizing that building green has its benefits. By implementing economically sound practices such as double pane windows, using more efficient insulation, installing solar tubes and Energy Star rated appliances, just to name a few, the money saved on utilities alone can be staggering over the life of the building. Not only that, but many consumers are now looking to purchase more energy-efficient homes. In fact, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, market share for green homes has more than doubled since 2008, from 8% to 17%. That’s not all, according to the same report, in the next few years that number could grow to somewhere between 29%-38%, or to put in plainly, as high as $114 billion annually. Sustainable construction may not be for just the hippies and tree huggers anymore, it could carve a serious chunk out of the housing market, and builders might be wise to take notice.
In 2000 the U.S. Green Building Council introduced LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) in order to provide developers with guidelines to help reduce their impact on the environment. Since then several other programs have sprouted up, and nearly all offer incentives for green building practices. For example Energy Star offers a $2,000 dollar “refund” for using appliances, and a labeling system for builders to feature in their listings.
Along with a growing market share comes higher asking prices, which builders say home buyers are willing to pay for more sustainable homes. Consumers not only see green building as more efficient, but more reliable and long lasting. In fact in the study put out by McGraw-Hill, 61% of home buyers and 66% of re-modelers are willing to pay a higher premium for green homes. Harvey Bernstein, Vice President of Industry Insights and Alliances at McGraw-Hill notes, “When builders are able to offer homes that not only are green, but also offer the combination of higher quality and better value, they have a major competitive edge over those building traditional homes.”
Being a developer myself, I’ve tried to implement as many green practices as possible. Although it initially affected my bottom line, over time I noticed that the more efficient homes were much easier to sell, and like anything else the more practice you have the more you can perfect the process. Certain things will possibly never be changed, our reliance on petroleum based plastics and copper wiring may be here to stay, but who knows if someone comes out with an alternative it may be able to further reduce the carbon footprint modern construction leaves behind. The green movement seems to be permeating all areas of our daily lives. From transportation to heavy industry to sustainable food growth we are now considering our place in the ecosystem and trying to work with nature instead of against it. Perhaps our newfound love of green living doesn’t place us as far away from animal hide tents and thatched roof homes as we think.
By Will Inglis
“Quality and Value Driving Growth in the Green Building Market—According to New McGraw-Hill Construction SmartMarket Report on Green Homes and Remodeling.” Press Release . McGraw Hill Construction. May 1, 2012
Marcacci, Silvio. “Green Home Building Booming, Could Be $114 Billion Market By 2016.” Clean Technica. June 1, 2012
US Green Building Council. What LEED is. US Green Building Council. n.d.
New evidence has shown that a “hot spot” could cause sea levels on the eastern seaboard of the US to advance faster than the projected global average. This increase is attributed to a change in the North Atlantic current, which scientist say is warming and as a result slowing down.
The affected are stretches over 600 miles, from North Carolina all the way to northern Massachusetts. In a study conducted by the USGS, global sea levels have risen between 0.6 and one millimeter per year since 1990, but levels along this portion of the eastern seaboard have gone up 3.7 millimeters in some areas- four times the global average. You may be thinking that this is such a small rise, how could it possibly affect things? Over a few years, yes, the difference may be fairly negligible, but over several decades the change adds up. This rise happens not just at a quicker rate, but at a more rapid pace, like a car on a highway “jamming on the accelerator,” says the study’s lead author, Asbury Sallenger Jr., an oceanographer at USGS. He has observed sea levels since the 1950′s, and noticed a change beginning in 1990.
By the year 2100 global sea levels are anticipated to rise more than a meter, the added increase caused by this “hot spot” could add almost an extra foot of water on top of that. “Extreme water levels that happen during winter or tropical storms, perhaps once or twice a year, may happen more frequently as sea level rise is added to storm surge,” says Karen Doran, co-author of the USGS study. This will undoubtedly cause many large population centers below this new waterline more than a little trouble in the coming decades. The number of people living in New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia, just to name a few of the cities that will likely be affected—and their likely exit from the area before, during or after the floods—poses a real problem. Where are all of these people going to go? New York City alone has over 8 million people. That’s more than a serious traffic jam; it’s an exodus, a migration of mass proportions.
Regardless if you are for or against the argument that man has caused global warming, the simple fact is that the world as we know it is getting hotter. We cannot ignore the reality that sea levels and climate as a whole are going through a major transition-nor the fact that this is a part of normal Earth function. Our planet constantly ebbs and flows between warm and cool periods- and as a result wet and dry periods. More water is locked up in ice during the cooler periods, resulting in lower sea levels, while during warmer periods more water is in liquid form, causing sea levels to rise.
Whether we are speeding up the process, all of this is part of the Earth’s natural cycles. As a species we have even experienced it before- though this was thousands of years ago and little of our ancestor’s accounts of such phenomenon and how they dealt with them remain for us to study. But many cultures share in common a flood story of some type, where in the earth is inundated by massive floods that wipe much of the earth clean of life— or at the least dramatically change the landscape.
Are we in for another flood? Scientists think so, but not on the order of world-ending myths so common to many ancient cultures. No need to rush out to your local hardware store and start construction on an ark. That being said, many cities and countries might want to take some preventative measures.
Immediate or not, we need to start to think outside of the box as to how we will deal with climate change, and building over water is one alternative to trying to divert it. This may be one of many answers to increased sea levels that seemingly every scientist agrees are in our future, the time to argue over the existence of global warming has come and gone. The time to take action is now and the sooner we prepare, the less the effects will be felt by future generations.
By Will Inglis
Everyone wants to be happy. Happiness is one of the most universally pursued things for all of humanity. If everyone is trying to be happy, why then, are so many people plagued by despair and depression? What is so elusive about achieving happiness? Most people don’t understand what truly makes them happy. The people who are the happiest have mastered their perception and built relationships with themselves and the universe. Some of the healthier philosophies on achieving happiness have been floating around so I have taken the time to write out my ideas and elaborate on the best ones.
Happiness can be defined as the overall experience of pleasure and meaning. Most people believe that money, fame, success, and popularity will make them happy. For some, it does, but most people find at some point that happiness in that sense is short lived. Yes, having money will allow you to experience more pleasure, but that barely scratches the surface of the entirety of happiness. There are plenty of instances of people who win the lottery who at first feel ecstatic but find only that their happiness dissipates quickly back to a normal level even though they still have lots of money.
There are two primary relationships that you need to take care of when it comes to happiness. The relationship you have with the universe and the relationship you have with yourself. With the relationship you have with yourself, you have to accept yourself on a deep subconscious level. Once you can accept your flaws and be proud of your strengths you will be much closer to achieving happiness. Every day is an opportunity to grow closer to your authentic self. Strive for clarity about who you are and live by it. The more you know who you are, the more resilient you will be with your happiness when misfortune comes your way.
You also need to cultivate a relationship with the universe around you. Take advantage of your passions and fully embrace them. Find your niche where you can be yourself and truly express yourself. Whether it is art, music, sports, or any number of things, don’t hold back. If you feel that you don’t have a passion, start some new hobbies and explore your interests a bit. There is always room for new hobbies. If you can do something with friends, even better, sharing the things you love with other people is one of the best ways to achieve happiness.
For me, my passion is skiing. That is where I can genuinely express myself. I feel as if my relationship with the universe is in complete synchrony. I can play with gravity and nature by channeling potential energy into creative expression of freedom and control. For me there is no better feeling, and sharing that, going up to the mountains with friends, is amazing.
Don’t expect to be happy all the time. When you have a reason to feel sad, embrace it. Listen to sad music, talk with someone about it, and go through what you need to and when you are done processing, let go. Celebrate and own your feelings. It’s your life and all the ups and downs are part of it. Happiness will come with acceptance.
It’s so easy to blame everything else for your unhappiness–God, the universe, other people, bad luck. It takes courage to stand up and look at yourself for the part you play. Take responsibility for your own unhappiness and do something about it. If you are stuck in a rut, use contrary action to force yourself to get out and do something. Happiness is directly related to gratitude. If you are feeling down, simply think of all the things you are grateful for. Always remember, every moment is a blessing. We live in an amazing age where we can do almost anything. Happiness is all around us; we simply have to resist having a negative perception and go out and build a foundation of new behaviors.
2 cups raw hazelnuts, soaked for at least 2 hours, drained and rinsed
½ cup raw cacao powder
2 Tbsp – ¼ cup coconut nectar/maple syrup/raw honey/raw agave (to taste)
¼ tsp (or more) pink Himalayan or sea salt (to taste)
¼ – ½ cup milk alternative (I used homemade unsweetened vanilla brazil/hazelnut milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract (omit if using vanilla almond milk)
Optional: 1 tsp coconut oil
Nutella hazelnut-chocolate spread is delicious. That is a fact.
Unfortunately, store-bought Nutella is highly processed, with unnecessary amounts of refined sugar and oil. This recipe is a way to enjoy the hazelnut-chocolatey goodness in a raw, more healthful way.
Soak hazelnuts for at least 2 hours. Drain them and rinse thoroughly.
Throw hazelnuts in the food processor. Add the cacao powder, optional coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Add the milk alternative until desired consistency is reached. Next, slowly add the sweetener, tasting as you go. Lastly, add the salt. Make sure to blend everything very thoroughly.
Spread on bread, crackers, or even on raw desserts! Throw in a blender with a frozen banana, almond milk, and ice for a Raw Nutella smoothie.
(Image borrowed from mynewroots.blogspot.com)
4-6 large Medjool dates (depending on desired portion size)
4 Tbsp coconut butter
2-3 Tbsp raw cacao powder
½ an extremely ripe banana
1 Tbsp coconut nectar or raw agave nectar
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt or sea salt
Optional: ¼ tsp cinnamon
Optional: raw cacao nibs, sesame seeds, shredded coconut
This little treat was thoroughly inspired by “Chocolate Covered Katie.”
I bought some beautiful Medjool dates from the farmer’s market this weekend (shout out to Oasis Date Gardens). Their dates are super soft and caramel-sweet—I think I’m going to order more from them online. I bought them with the intention of using them for any number of different raw desserts on my to-do list… but this idea came to me this morning, and I just couldn’t resist.
Blend together filling ingredients, either with a food processor, blender, or mashing very well with a fork. You may have to slightly melt the coconut butter. If so, place it in a bowl, and put that bowl in another bowl filled with hot water. Only allow it to melt slightly. You can also add the optional cinnamon for a bit of spice, and the cacao nibs, sesame seeds, or shredded coconut as mix-ins.
Pit dates: Rather than splitting in half, take a sharp knife and poke a hole in the top of each date. Use a pair of tweezers (or something similar) to gently pull out the pits, and fill dates with fudge. Place them in the fridge to set.
Take a bite, and indulge in the fudgy goodness.
¾ cup walnuts (unsoaked)
¾ cup pecans (unsoaked)
8 super-soft Medjool dates, pitted (unsoaked)
1/3 – 1/3 + 2 Tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp filtered water
½ tsp vanilla extract
1/16 tsp Himalayan pink salt
¼ cup + 2 Tbsp raw cacao powder
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp coconut nectar or raw agave
1/6 cup or 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp coconut oil
Extra cacao powder to dust the top
Raw cacao nibs to crust the top
This was my first foray into a full-out raw cake (albeit a mini one), and I was really excited about it. Initially, I set out to make a larger one, but it soon became clear that my little Magic Bullet could not handle the extra work. Though, I was ultimately pleased with the size—it was extremely rich and dense, and the mini slices definitely sufficed. Plus, it just looked adorable. And super impressive.
Grind nuts into a fine powder in your food processor. Make sure not to over-grind them—or you’ll end up making nut butter. Set the ground nuts aside.
Pit the dates, and blend them into a paste. The dates should be soft enough to not require any liquid.
Combine the nuts and dates. Add in the water, vanilla, and salt. Then gradually add in the cacao powder, blending thoroughly without over-blending. If you over-blend, the oils will separate, and it will become very greasy.
You will now have your cake “dough.” In your hands, form it into a ball, then flatten into the torte shape, tapering the edges. Set aside on some parchment paper.
To make the ganache, melt the coconut oil with a double-bowl (“bain-marie”). Place the coconut oil in a bowl, then put that bowl in another filled with hot water. Stir the oil until melted. Add in the coconut nectar (or agave) and the cacao powder. Whisk to combine.
Using a silicone spatula, smooth the ganache over the cake. Place your frosted torte in the fridge for several hours to set.
Once you’re ready to serve your torte, take a small handful of cacao powder and dust the top. Then take a healthy handful of cacao nibs, and press them down into the top to crust it. Allow it to sit out of the fridge for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
Serve to some friends, and watch them be super impressed.
Note: For a twist, grind some good quality coffee beans and dust over the top.
(image borrowed from ohsheglows.com)
Makes 1 serving
1 large, very ripe banana
2 dates (soaked for 30 minutes to soften, if necessary)
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 – 2 Tbsp raw cacao powder
1 – 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or plain almond milk + 1 tsp vanilla)
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cardamom
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp cloves
Optional (highly recommended) mix-ins: raw cacao nibs, shredded coconut, raisins
Optional: 1- 2 Tbsp Irish moss paste to thicken
Here’s something that I whipped up (boo, bad pun) last night to fuel my morning run today. It incorporates my love for raw chocolate, banana, and sweet spices. The chia seeds are a great way to help hydrate pre-workout, and the natural sugars/carbs in the banana/dates are perfect for a quick boost of energy.
Mix all ingredients (except mix-ins) very well in blender. You want the chia seeds to be thoroughly pulverized, and the consistency of the pudding to be sort of whipped. Pour into airtight container, and place in the fridge overnight to thicken (or several hours, if you can’t wait). Serve with cacao nibs, shredded coconut, and raisins mixed in. Don’t add the mix-ins until you’re about to eat the pudding, though—otherwise they’ll get soggy. Enjoy.